Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Happy Birthdays in Wisconsin

The inspiration for the gathering in Wisconsin: A special celebration for Nancy's 90th birthday! Months in advance, emails, messages, and phone calls were made between California, Wisconsin, and Tennessee, with the hope that as many family members as possible could be in town to honor Nancy. Then something unexpected happened, in the spring, after riding the Tour of Flanders, in Belgium, my father-in-law had a massive stroke. The news was shocking, and the circumstance of him being so far away only compounded our concerns, but he was not alone. Everyone agrees, things would have been far, far worse if not for Phil's sweetheart, Georgia. They had just become engaged, and through language barriers, and all the complications that come up in a medical crisis, especially in a foreign country, Georgia managed everything. A great deal had to be overcome and worked out, and it's really hard to imagine that so many hurdles were managed, including an air ambulance ride from Lilles, France, to Wisconsin. Phil, with Georgia by his side, has a long ride back to recovery, but with determination and good humor, he is facing the journey. It became obvious that there were two milestone birthdays that we wanted to celebrate, and so the plans grew.

Phil, riding in the blue jersey with a bright, golden sunburst. He loves cycling, and he has done more to build and promote the sport, and pastime, than anyone I know.

Great-grandchildren, grandchildren, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends... the whole town, practically! There was cooking and baking, decorating, organizing... and, of course the celebrating. The laughter, surprises, memories shared, and new memories made were wonderful.

Vibrant, generous, inspiring, and fun. Grandma Nancy, you are dear to me, and I love you. You have been a powerful role-model for me, and a great source of wisdom, insight, and understanding.

Nancy's daughters, and like her, they are resilient, hardworking, and inspiring. Carol, Jane, and Laura... they put on a good party, too!

Max, William, Maria, Izzy, Rich, Geoff, and Don~
The community center was a great space, roomy, convenient, cool, and we all got busy decorating it for the celebration.

William, Nick, Jane, Rich~

Jane and Carol~

Paul, and his brother, Geoff~
This was Paul's actual birthday. More to celebrate!

Phil and friends. It's a good day when you are surrounded by friends.

Nancy hands over the art quilt, wrapped in a scarf of Georgia's favorite colors, that Nancy made especially to thank Georgia.

For Georgia, an unexpected surprise.

For us, a happy moment to see Georgia honored for her love, her devotion, her good will.

It truly was a beautiful moment.

Neighbors Molly and Shane, Nancy, cousin Hesperis, and Phil~

Joanne and Paul~

William, Maria~

Jane and Don-Woody~

Nancy and her fitness-quilting-bakery-lifetime friends~

Griffin and his Grandma Carol~

Laura and Paul~

Jordan, Izzy, Holly~

Izzy and Holly~

All the laughs were for the old app... take a picture then let the app age you, a lot! Hilarity ensues.

Everyone was in the mood for laughs and fun!

Nancy and Nancy~

Phil and friend, and daughter, Lily, looking on, and Ingrid~

Designed, illustrated, appliqued, quilted, and finished with love by Nancy for Georgia.

Lisa, Sophie, Geoff and Woody~

Rosa showing her grandmother some of the jewelry she's made.

Paul, Gary, and Rich~

Nancy and Aaron, with Evelyn~

Laura and William~

Phil and Georgia~

Holly, Gary, Woody, Rich, Nick and Izzy~

Back home, there were cards and well wishes to enjoy.

And more smiles and laughter, with Brandon and Rosa.

Grandma is going to stay in touch, in style, with her new iPad.

And speaking of style! A friend from town, Andrew, came by with his family's classic car.

Woody, Maria, and William got to tour around the Lake!



Rich and Izzy~

Max, trying to make sense of the Mini-me Pee Oui doll inspired by Fat Tire Tour of Milwaukee... thirty years of rides, and hilarious themes.

The fun and laughter is still so fresh, the memories so good, it feels like we are still celebrating.


judy in ky said...

So many wonderful things. It makes me happy seeing all of these pictures, great times with friends and family. I had to laugh when I saw William in the rumble seat. When I was little my dad had a car like that and my sister and I would ride in the rumble seat. It's kind of hard to believe now, but you just reminded me of it. His outfit and demeanor go perfectly, too.

Anonymous said...

I see in these pictures an enormous amount of love and happiness and gratitude and blessings shared.